Wednesday, May 13, 2009

could it be?

For the past too many years, I have been struggling with an area of my life that I have been trying drastically to change. (How and when I start my day.)

I had this image in my mind of what a perfect schedule must be like. Aside from a glorious 2-3 weeks of enjoying it last year, I have been completely unsuccessful at living it out every single day.

You see, I've had a goal of waking up at 5:00, having my coffee and prayer time (alone!), followed by an intense workout and a (quiet) shower.

Guess what?!? I am not a morning person.

And so, every day that I've woken up a couple of hours late, I have been so frustrated with myself for "failing." Everyday that I've missed my goal, I've felt miserable.

My impatience with myself soon began to affect my level of patience with my beautiful (and mostly patient) kiddos. :-(

It was in this spirit of feeling like an absolute failure that I met with my mentor this week. We spent most of our time together talking about this as well as possible solutions to my apparent "problem." It was a fabulous conversation, especially because it was all bathed in hope!

Wouldn't you know, the first question she asked me was, "Amy, who exactly says that this is the type of schedule you need to keep? And, is there someone in your life who is actually living it out?"

She can be so gentle and full of grace, even when I can't answer her questions with more than a weak sniffle. :-)

"Well, you know," I stammered. "They. As in the same people who set the standard for everything we do. Like when we can wear white shoes and when we can't."

Yup. It sounded really pathetic to my own ears and I started to get really worried with where our conversation was going.

Ah, but I should have known better. God always shows up during our meetings. And He always uses His light, love and truth to help me make sense of my life and the things He is trying to teach me.

Lo and behold, by the end of our time together, I realized that the reason I have been so unsuccessful with my schedule wasn't because I was a failure. Nor was God trying to punish me because I can never seem to "get it right."

With God and my mentor's help, I was able to see that the brick wall I kept hitting was actually a gift. God was purposefully boxing me in so that He could show me that I was trying to live up to a standard that He never gave me. He's been patiently waiting for me to turn around and look at Him.

When I finally did, He showed me who I am. Who He created me to be. Man, His love can be so bright that it's almost blinding, and yet so sweet I can never get enough. (Kinda like Dove chocolate...but that's another story!)

So, I haven't exactly figured out what my days will look like, but I am slowly learning to put down the hammer of chastisement that I've been using on myself in order to actually hear what God has to say to me.

Those desires I have for my day are all good, but would be even better if they fit into my schedule sometime when I was actually awake. ;-)

Is there an area in your life that you are struggling with, my Friend? If so, have you talked to a trusted friend or mentor yet? Sometimes we get so stuck in our unhealthy patterns that we are unable to see (or think) clearly. When we share our struggles with another, sometimes it's all we need to get a clearer picture of what is really going on.

I'm excited to see the changes that God will bring to my days as I learn to press further into Him and His will for my life.

As I learn more about the person God created me to be, I am more able to enjoy LIVING A BLESSED LIFE! Praying you are, too!

Sweet blessings,


Charlene said...

Didn't someone else tell you that? LOL

For me, I kinda have a deal with God. I've asked Him to wake me up early and He always comes through! He almost always wakes me with song. Sometimes it has a special meaning, sometimes it's praise and worship. Never know what He's going to suprise me with!

This morning, I woke at about 4:10 to a song (can't remember right now). Troy tried to entice me back to bed (with cuddles!), but I chose to get up, I knew it was my wake up call. Glad I did, b/c Shaoey got up at 4:50. I would have been grumpy had I gone back to bed for 1/2 an hour only to wake up at the same time as a child. This way I got some coffee into me and checked email and sang silent worship songs in my head!

Love ya!

Andy and Wendy Ingram said...

I am totally not a morning person, and for years, allowed legalism and negativity about it, to ruin my relationship with my precious Papa. I have learned that God desires me to ENJOY him, however that looks. Often times it is different each day and I love spending time now with God, no matter when, where, or how. He is teaching me that he wants to speak to me in very creative ways, if I just open up and allow it. Sometims in ways, that I never could have built into myself, with my own "bible reading/quiet time plan". I am thankful that he has been revealing himself to me in ways that I never could have made happen myself.

Lately, I have struggled with feelings of failure as a friend. So yesterday, I confessed it to one of my best friends and she covered me with the grace and love of Jesus. I think amazing things happen, when I humble myself and am honest, like you said and claim my weakness, just like Paul did, and it is only then that he is perfected in my weakness. I am learning to allow myself to not be all things to all people, and through that there is such a freedom and joy. It is just fine too, to not have all the answers anymore. What a relief that is to come to grips with that! I am wondering if it all possibly goes back to the whole surrender thing, that you have been blogging about recently.

I commented last night, on your "nauseated" blog and it would not send it, so finally gave up. It is so hard for me to fathom eating cow poop. I am struggling with myself and my reaction or lack of response, not knowing what or how to obey. I am concerned that I will go about my wonderful, comfortable life, yet I feel such heart-wrenching pain, guilt, and brokenness as I hear of God's people suffering so deeply. Sometimes, I am prideful and say "well now we shop now at thrift stores for our clothing, or we have simplified in this way, or sacrificed in that way", but Amy, God still wants to take us so much deeper in obedience and in our journey. I just struggle sometimes with knowing how to respond, so we will listen, I guess, to his voice and try to obey step by step and trust that we are the clay and he is the potter. Praying and trusting God to provide for his people!

Chantelle said...

Hi AmyJo and thank you for your comment on my blog! I so appreciate this post today because I, too, have struggled with almost exactly the same thing! That old hammer of chastisment can fall pretty heavy sometimes too, huh. I am blessed by what you shared. So happy to have found you! God bless!